Veteran relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt announced on Friday that he will retire from baseball, according to GBSports.com's Gerardo Boscan.
Betancourt spent 12 years in the majors with the Cleveland Indians and Colorado Rockies and had a career ERA of 3.36.
Of his 12 years in the league, Betancourt posted a sub-3.00 ERA six times, mostly as a middle reliever and set-up man. He was the Rockies' closer in 2012, where he posted 31 saves.
His best season came in 2007 with the Indians when he allowed just 13 runs in 79.1 innings (1.47 ERA) with 80 strikeouts and just nine walks.
He was also on the mound the last time the Indians won the American League Central Division.
The Indians made the ALCS, but lost to the Boston Red Sox that year. It was one of just two times that Betancourt made the postseason in his career.
He joined the Rockies during the 2009 season and continued to contribute. In 2010, he put up a season in which he struck out 89 batters in 62.1 innings pitched with just eight walks.
Betancourt developed his fastball to become one of his main out pitches as he was able to put enough movement on the pitch to stifle hitters.
Bleacher Report's Zachary Rymer reminisced about that fastball while bidding Betancourt farewell:
Zachary D. Rymer @zachrymer
Fare thee well, Rafael Betancourt. Thanks for one of the better examples of a "rising" fastball in recent memory.2/26/2016, 4:39:35 PM
According to MLB.com's Rafael Cremonesi, Betancourt wants to stay involved with the game "in some form". Given his ability to stay in the league for over a decade as a pretty effective reliever, his kind of experience could be good in developing young pitchers and getting them major league-ready.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com
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